Helping you Understand
Perhaps only those who have suffered from the misery of drug addiction, or those who are close to them, fully understand the complexity of the problem. It is easy to condemn the addict on the basis that he or she first used drugs willingly and should have known the consequences; but those consequences have never been the same for every user. For the addict the ability to choose whether or not to use drugs is no longer an option, getting and using drugs has become a compulsion.
Addiction affects multiple brain circuits and accordingly disrupts many facets of the everyday life of the habitual and long-term user. This, in turn, means that the treatment available must take all this into account and offer a programme to deal with everything from an initial detox through to offering ongoing aftercare help.
The American National Institute on Drug Abuse has probably studied addiction and treatment for longer and more intensively than any other government body throughout the world. They have set out a number of principles of effective treatment and most, if not all, can be found in a drug rehab as oppose to being community based. For example one of the key principles states, “Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
Other key principles such as the need to continually assess the needs of the individual and modify the treatment plan when required is considerably easier when the programme is being delivered within the controlled environment of a drug rehab centre rather than in the community. Similarly the existence of daily sessions of counselling, whether group or individual, along with other behavioural therapies, particularly in the early part of treatment, are an important part of a successful programme.
Research that has been carried out for the last forty years has consistently shown that the most efficient and effective way of treating drug addiction is through residential rehab. Unfortunately this is not readily available these days from public funding and often the costs have to be borne from the addict or those around him or her. What can be found in a drug rehab centre is what the National Institute on Drug Abuse refers to as, “A continuum of care that includes a customized treatment regimen – addressing all aspects of an individual’s life….that can be crucial to a person’s success in achieving and maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.”